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UN Youth Voice 2020 National Finals


Last November, Yesmi Kalugalage (Year 9), Kinjal Dani and Estella Le (Year 11) represented State High in the UN Youth Voice State Grand Finals, which was held at Queensland Parliament House. The competition tasks students to prepare and present a speech outlining their solution for a provided topic and answer questions from a judging panel.

In the Voice State Grand Finals, Yesmi achieved fifth place (Junior Division), Kinjal achieved sixth place (Senior Division) and Estella achieved fourth place (Senior Division). Following their fantastic results, all three students were selected to represent Queensland in the UN Youth Voice National Finals.

(L-R) Yesmi Kalugalage (Year 9), Kinjal Dani and Estella Le (Year 11) representing State High in the UN Youth Voice State Grand Finals in November 2019

Photos: UN Youth Queensland

The Voice 2020 National Finals was held during the Term 1 break, on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 April. Although the physical event was cancelled, students had the opportunity to participate online. Estella described the experience below:

"During the national competition, we presented two speeches via Zoom live conferencing, both pitching a solution on how to solve some of the world's most pressing issues. For example, one of the speech topics was 'How can we ensure all Australians have access to safe and secure shelter?' and we were required to pitch an innovative yet practical solution to this problem. Following our speeches, the judges asked us two questions about our pitch and we were to answer them in a cohesive manner in a two-minute impromptu speech. We also participated in workshops on advocacy and presentations from guest speakers."

Queensland managed to win first place as Best Delegation and Estella received an Honourable Mention award for placing in the top five Senior competitors in Australia. Results from the Voice 2020 National Finals have been published on the UN Youth website.

Well done to our students.